Our intent for our children when they leave Pennington Infant school is for them to be avid readers, children who read fluently and widely and are able to express preferences and opinions about the texts that they read. We want them to read for pleasure, having had access to a wide range of text types, genres and authors in order for them to make informed opinions about their favourites. Our children should have the Library skills to be able to find texts they are interesting in and excited about, but also the knowledge of how look for texts that will provide information to help them develop their thinking or answer unknown questions to support their learning. We want them to have a secure phonic knowledge that supports them to decode unknown enabling them to read a rich variety of texts. We aim to expose our children to a wide range of vocabulary so that they able to decipher new words and then use them when speaking both informally and formally. We also aim for our children to apply all of these English skills to all areas of the curriculum.
At Pennington Infant School, our reading curriculum is implemented through a range of different means:
Reading Practise Sessions, Whole Class reading sessions and Independent reading
Teachers model how to teach reading skills at all levels using a wide range of rich texts, which are then practised and applied independently in home school reading/sharing phonics and decodable books matched to each child’s reading ability. We use Big Cat Reading Books as these link to our Little Wandle Phonics Scheme. Daily Reading Practise Sessions take place in EYFS and Year 1, focusing on decoding, prosody and comprehension.
- We teach children to read through reading practice sessions three times a week. These:
- are taught by a fully trained adult to small groups of approximately six children
- use books matched to the children’s secure phonic knowledge using the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised assessments and book matching grids on pages 11–20 of ‘Application of phonics to reading’
- are monitored by the class teacher, who rotates and works with each group on a regular basis.
- Each reading practice session has a clear focus, so that the demands of the session do not overload the children’s working memory. The reading practice sessions have been designed to focus on three key reading skills:
- prosody: teaching children to read with understanding and expression
- comprehension: teaching children to understand the text.
- In Reception these sessions start in Week 4. Children who are not yet decoding have daily additional blending practice in small groups, so that they quickly learn to blend and can begin to read books.
- In Year 2 and 3, we continue to teach reading in this way for any children who still need to practise reading with decodable books.
- The decodable reading practice book is taken home to ensure success is shared with the family.
- Reading for pleasure books also go home for parents to share and read to children.
- We use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised parents’ resources to engage our families and share information about phonics, the benefits of sharing books, how children learn to blend and other aspects of our provision, both online and through workshops.
Additional reading support for vulnerable children
- Children in Reception and Year 1 who are receiving additional phonics Keep-up sessions read their reading practice book to an adult daily.
Whole class reading sessions in Year 2 focus on comprehension skills using language rich texts to promote reading for understanding and reading for pleasure. All adults in the school support children with our ‘Pennington Reading Routine’ which helps children develop their fluency by focusing on the decoding aspect of early reading.
Every class has high quality texts that can be matched to their current topics or chosen for the comprehension domain being taught.
We teach phonics following Little Wandle. It is a systematic and synthetic phonics programme.
Daily phonics lessons in Reception and Year 1
- We teach phonics for 30 minutes a day. In Reception, we build from 10-minute lessons, with additional daily oral blending games, to the full-length lesson as quickly as possible. Each Friday, we review the week’s teaching to help children become fluent readers.
- Children make a strong start in Reception: teaching begins in Week 2 of the Autumn term.
- We follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised expectations of progress:
- Children in Reception are taught to read and spell words using Phase 2 and 3 GPCs, and words with adjacent consonants (Phase 4) with fluency and accuracy.
- Children in Year 1 review Phase 3 and 4 and are taught to read and spell words using Phase 5 GPCs with fluency and accuracy.
Daily Keep-up lessons ensure every child learns to read
- Any child who needs additional practice has daily Keep-up support, taught by a fully trained adult. Keep-up lessons match the structure of class teaching, and use the same procedures, resources and mantras, but in smaller steps with more repetition, so that every child secures their learning.
- We timetable daily phonics lessons for any child in Year 2 who is not fully fluent at reading or has not passed the Phonics screening check. These children urgently need to catch up, so the gap between themselves and their peers does not widen. We use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised assessments to identify the gaps in their phonic knowledge and teach to these using the Keep-up resources – at pace.
We use the word aware program to encourage the use of new and varied vocabulary. This includes topic and concept words based on curricular links, class texts and everyday concepts. The vocabulary is shared with parents to promote engagement. The talk boost promotes vocabulary and discussion for those children who are in need of some support.
Ensuring reading for pleasure
‘Reading for pleasure is the single most important indicator of a child’s success.’ (OECD 2002)
‘The will influences the skill and vice versa.’ (OECD 2010)
We value reading for pleasure highly and work hard as a school to grow our Reading for Pleasure pedagogy.
- We read to children every day. We choose these books carefully as we want children to experience a wide range of books, including books that reflect the children at Pennington Infant School and our local community as well as books that open windows into other worlds and cultures.
- Every classroom has an inviting book corner that encourages a love for reading. We curate these books and talk about them to entice children to read a wide range of books.
- In Reception, children have access to the reading corner every day in their Let’s Explore time and the books are continually refreshed.
- Children from Reception onwards have a home reading record. The parent/carer records comments to share with the adults in school and the adults will write in this on a regular basis to ensure communication between home and school.
- As the children progress through the school, they are encouraged to write their own comments and keep a list of the books/authors that they have read.
- The school library is made available for classes to use at protected times. Children across the school have regular opportunities to engage with a wide range of Reading for Pleasure events (book fairs, author visits and workshops, national events etc).
Assessment is used to monitor progress and to identify any child needing additional support as soon as they need it.
- Assessment for learning is used:
- daily within class to identify children needing Keep-up support
- weekly in the Review lesson to assess gaps, address these immediately and secure fluency of GPCs, words and spellings.
- Summative assessment is used:
- every six weeks to assess progress, to identify gaps in learning that need to be addressed, to identify any children needing additional support and to plan the Keep-up support that they need.
- by SLT and scrutinised through the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised assessment tracker, to narrow attainment gaps between different groups of children and so that any additional support for teachers can be put into place.
- The Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised placement assessment is used:
- with any child new to the school to quickly identify any gaps in their phonic knowledge and plan provide appropriate extra teaching.
- Children in Year 1 sit the Phonics screening check. Any child not passing the check re-sits it in Year 2.
Ongoing assessment for catch-up
- Children in Year 2 to 6 are assessed through:
- their teacher’s ongoing formative assessment
- the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds placement assessment
- the appropriate half-termly assessments.
Our intent for our children at Pennington Infant school is to develop children who write with confidence and accuracy for a variety of purposes and audiences whilst developing their own individual flair. We want our children to be able to write with grammatical accuracy and be able to apply spelling patterns correctly using a neat handwriting style. We aim to expose our children to a wide range of vocabulary so that they able to decipher new words and then use them when speaking both informally and formally. We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where children take pride in their writing, can write clearly and accurately and adapt their language and style for a range of age appropriate contexts by the end of KS1. Teachers make sure the content is relevant and stimulating by delivering through themes and topics.
We also aim for our children to apply all of these English skills to all areas of the curriculum.
The Writing Cycle
Our writing cycle is based on topic related hooks and text drivers. Topic mats, CEW word mats and phonics mats are readily available in all classes to support this process. Planning and writing session follow a 1 week, 2 weekly or 3 weekly pattern depending on the expectation of the piece of writing based on its purpose and audience. Writing tools including counters, talking tins, lolly sticks are used to support early and emerging writing skills. Children are encouraged to share their writing with peers and promote achievements. Children are given individualised next steps through marking and individual spoken feedback.
Spelling is taught through EYFS and KS1 HFW and CEW. Common exception words are practised at home and tested weekly. Once the children have them all correct they can move on allowing for personalised progression. In Year 1 and 2 the children also practise thy words in the context of a sentence before moving onto the next set. This helps the children see how spellings and writing are not taught in isolation. Phonics spelling are taught in phonics sessions with opportunities to practise in writing sessions reinforced by using sound mats. Grammar and punctuation is taught within writing sessions for year R and 1 appropriate to the writing purpose but also planned to ensure coverage of the EYFS and year 1 national curriculum and progression statements. Year 2 also have separate grammar sessions following the year 2 national curriculum and progression statements and then apply these in writing sessions depending on the writing purpose.
Handwriting sessions are taught across the year groups. They are taught in letter families using the programme Kinetic Letters. By the end of year 1 some children will begin to join but ensuring all other progression statements are met first. In year 2 all children will be taught to join but differentiating for those children who still cannot form all their letters correctly based on the progression statements for year 2.
Working walls are updated linked to these genres and topics allowing the children to make independent choices in their own writing. Vocabulary is promoted through displays within the classroom and the use of topic vocabulary mats enhancing and encouraging their wider use of vocabulary.
Writing is displayed throughout the school in classrooms and shared areas to encourage pride in work and to show that all the work is valued.
Whole class texts
Every year group has high quality texts that is selected from a database of text drivers or recommended book lists. Writing work is then planned and delivered through the context of this text or topic.
Through discussion and feedback, children talk enthusiastically about writing and understand the importance of this subject. They can also talk about different types of writing and their purpose.
Evidence in knowledge
Pupils can make links between texts and the different themes and genres within them and begin to apply them to their writing. They can recognise similarities and differences. Children understand the writing process at their own level.
Evidence in skills
Children are taught writing progressively and at a pace appropriate to each individual child. Teachers subject knowledge ensures that skills taught are matched to National Curriculum objectives.
At the end of each year we expect the children to have achieved Age Related Expectations (ARE) for their year group. Some children will have progressed further and achieved greater depth (GD). Children who have gaps in their knowledge receive appropriate support and intervention.
Assessment and Monitoring
At Pennington Infants assessment and monitoring comes in many forms. These include:
-lesson observations, book monitoring and learning walks;
-skills progressing throughout the school is evident in children’s books;
-gathering pupil voice through pupil interviews;
-moderating pupils work in school and in cluster meetings with other schools to ensure accurate assessments are made;
-tracking pupils’ progress each term and this informs planning and any intervention needed;
-pupil progress meetings ensure different groups (including EAL, PP and SEND) and individual progress is monitored, and interventions organised to support good and better progress;
-parents and carers will understand how they can support spelling, vocabulary, reading and writing and contribute regularly to home learning;
-monitoring is also used to identify gaps in the curriculum that may need to be addressed across the school, or within individual year groups.
Monitoring is an ongoing cycle, which is used productively to provide the best possible English curriculum for our children and to ensure it is inclusive to all.